The Last 13, January 5, 2014
Tuesday, December 24, 6:30 pm
I walked north through the Upper East Side with a large bottle of rum tucked under my arm. I was on a mission for limes, the key ingredient for the Cuba Libre’s I was bringing to my friends Christmas Eve celebration. I realized, for the hundredth time that week, how much I was going to miss being on the Upper East Side. There was a nice, relaxing celebration to be had at my friends house. I did not want to go home.
Wednesday, December 25, 7 pm
It is dark and somewhat empty in Essex Restaurant. My sister and I were having our traditional anti-holiday dinner. No guests, just the two of us. I like our lonely moments. I like the discussions we can have that border on the inappropriate. We gave lots of high five’s across the table, shared memories, good food. I had my first Aperol spritz, the very drink a date had suggested a few months ago, “Everyone is drinking it in Tuscany,” he said. I see why. It was like a happy negroni, and negroni’s are my drink of choice.
Thursday, December 26, 8:30 am
I am woken up from a nightmarish sleep by a burly man.
“I’m Tyrone,” he says, “but people call me ‘Triple T.’” I shake his hand wearily. I’d been up all night of Christmas to pack up the last of the lot. He and his team of four moving men come in and deconstruct everything. The sound of the furniture being wrapped in the hall is screeching too loud for my ears. I cower in the corner by the couch, as instructed by Triple T.
“Whatcha standin’ up for?” he asks. “Go relax.”
I turn on the “Sherlock” mini-webisode and smile. Graham Norton, “Endeavor Morse,” “Eastenders” – British TV has been saving my life on the rough days.
I perch on a stool at the storage unit on the far west side. The clerk there hands me paperwork to sign.
“It’ll be $300 for the unit,” he says. “Then you’ll need to pay insurance and an additional security deposit for $1200.”
The mover, Triple T, saunters up with his own bill. $500.
I sign them all, with tears welling in my eyes. I can’t pay for it. I don’t have the money for it. I’m dying, or I might as well be. I thank them both, and drag my suitcase out to the corner of the west side highway. A snow has begun. No cabs are stopping for me.
Friday, December 27, 10 am
Working from home from the comfort of my Chelsea sublet. I’m so happy to be at peace for a second, even if it means living out of a suitcase. I remind myself that this is a temporary thing. The happiness is temporary.
Monday, December 30, Midnight
I walk into Lillie’s Bar with friends, I hadn’t been there since my 26th Birthday party and that seems like ages ago. I walk up to the bar, it’s a couple hours past negroni o’clock, and I’m long overdue. That night myself and my writing group friends had just seen a late night showing “Inside Llweyn Davis”. I decide that I adore these two ladies. They’re both whip smart, and talented and fun, and I’ve almost known them both a year. I talk too much and drink too much without dinner, even though I have to work the next day.
Tuesday, December 31, 11:30 pm
It’s New Years Eve. My friend is hosting a party. It was supposed to be “small” but quite a large sequined crowd fill her living room and kitchen. I brought pink Chandon for a toast, and at 11:30 I pop by each small group to refill their glasses. We all gather by the TV to see the ball drop and countdown at midnight. Myself and all my friends hug.
At 4:30 am we find ourselves in a bar not far from the apartment. Most of the crowds have gone home, which is nice.
My friend’s-boyfriend-nearly-fiancé watches as I eye every man that enters the bar. “Why are you still single?” he shouts over the music.
I want to answer, “Have you looked at me lately?” I haven’t a penny to spend on any grooming or anything new. The apartment situation makes me dress like I feel, and I feel like I should go into hiding.
Instead I laugh awkwardly. “I ask myself that question. I don’t really know.”
“You do know,” he says. We look at all the couples in the bar, and start to analyze their body language. His girlfriend comes over, and we tell her about our conversation. She reprimands him for asking me why I’m single.
“It’s OK,” I say. “I like a good, candid statement.”
Wednesday, January 1, 2014, 4 pm
I wake late, and immediately tell myself that I need a plan for the year. This idea turns into a series of ridiculous ideas, but they are enough to excite me. And excitement is exactly what I need. I spend the day wandering around Chelsea in the cold. I don’t stray too far from home, I have a very important appointment at 21:00 GMT with the BBC. For an hour after I remain online to watch the post-Sherlock Twitter storm and even contribute my own fan crazed dribble. I talk to my parents who are both having good days. That’s important to me.